One in five UK families admit they are 'living on the edge'


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The Independent Online

UK families are facing an uncertain financial future with one in five admitting they are living on edge.

Frightening research published today shows that 20 per cent of families are struggling to cope financially while another two-fifths are “just getting by”.

The survey by think tank Centre for the Modern Family shows people are being battered by increased living costs and falling wages.

They’ve also been whacked, by the climbing cost of childcare and the continuing harsh economic climate, as well as many being hit by the Coalition’s cutbacks.

Welsh families have been hardest hit by financial woes with 57 per cent saying it is their biggest challenge compared to a national average of 45 per cent.

Meanwhile young families are being forced to resort to desperate measures. Eighteen-to-32 year olds with children are twice as likely to have turned to payday loans and 50 per cent more likely to have begun flogging their possessions online than average.

One in five of them have been left unable to pay household bills while one in eight have even skipped meals in order to ensure their family eats.

Family help has come to the fore as the cash crisis has deepened, according to the Scottish Widows-funded survey, with one in five people borrowing from family members in the past year.

Lord Leitch, chair of Centre for the Modern Family, said: “Families are making real sacrifices just to get by.

“Young people in particular face a very different kind of working life from the one that their parents and grandparents experienced.

“Affordable housing and a comfortable retirement are just two aspects that cannot be taken for granted.”

Another survey published today confirms that Britons can no longer afford to be a nation of savers.

In fact a fifth of adults - 11 million people - have absolutely no savings, according to Santander.

The bank also says the average monthly amount saved has shrunk 7 per cent in the past year, from £112 to £105.